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Two Types of Electric Bike Pedal Assist EXPLAINED | E-Bike Questions


Hey, everyone. Peter at Sixthreezero. I just want to answer just the most basic level of question about pedal assist, because if you're just getting into e-bikes, it's a little confusing. I remember that it confused me. I wasn't sure which way I should go. So there are two basic types of pedal assist. There's cadence and there is torque. Let's get into it.

Okay. So what is a cadence sensor and what is a torque-based pedal assist? Well, first of all, pedal-assist, I'll just go over that really briefly. All that means is that you have an e-bike and it has the power here. So what it's going to do is it's going to move your bike along. Usually, you're going to be moving the bike along too by pedaling. So you can pedal and give the bike forward propulsion, and also the battery can power the motor and also do it, propel the bike forward. Those can be used together, the pedaling and the motor.


So what pedal assist is that you can set a setting and the motor will give you a certain level of assist. There are two ways that's done, either with a cadence sensor or with torque. So again, the pedal-assist just means that while you're pedaling, the motor's going to give you a certain level of assistance. It's almost like someone giving you a giving you a push from behind, or if you have extra strength or something like that.

The two types, we only use the cadence sensing type, but then there's also torque-based. Cadence sensing, cadence is really just the movement of your pedal. So all it's sensing is if your pedal starts to move. So if you start pedaling, the pedal-assist will kick in at your level, whether you pick one, two, three, four, or five, or if you do custom settings. And say you pick level two, it will just give you that nice level two assist at a constant rate. So no matter what you're doing, whether you're going uphill, downhill, as long as you're pedaling, it's going to give you that same consistent push. That's what you usually find on recreational bikes, bikes that are mostly being ridden on roads or bike paths. You can ride off-road, but it won't be for more sport-based mountain biking, more performance-based mountain biking.


But the cadence-based system is great. If the pedals start moving, if you start pedaling, the motor will just kick in automatically and give you a nice, consistent boost. And the boost will be consistent throughout until you stop pedaling. When you stop pedaling, the motor will kick out and then you're just coasting. So you can coast with our bikes. We find that's a really good system, especially for beginning riders or recreational riders. It's just very simple. It just gives you a nice, consistent extra boost.


There's also to torque-based, which means that it has a more sophisticated system and it costs more, where it can sense how hard you're pushing. So if you're pushing harder, you're giving it more torque. And so that will instruct the controller of the battery to tell the motor to give you more assistance. This will be used by mountain bikers, for instance. Say they're going along a trail, and all of a sudden they hit a steep incline and they just start to push really hard to get over that incline, the battery will sense that and will give them an extra push to get over that incline like that.


That's a great system, and a lot of people swear by it. But I think there are differences between whether you're just riding a recreational bike around for fun, or if you're going to do some mountain biking, or maybe if you're a road cyclist using electricity and you're going to encounter more steep terrain or whatever, or you want that more precision. So it's really up to you.


Probably the best thing is to try both out, see which one you prefer. Like I said, we use the cadence system because it's a nice, simple system, gives you a consistent boost, and it costs less. The torque-based system is also fantastic, but usually for more technical riding. So try them both out. But that's the basic difference.


So this isn't the place where I'm going to tell you which is best. Some people say, "Oh, yeah, torque's the only way to go," or whatever, or cadence. It totally depends on your preference. Either way is great. They are a little bit different. One gives you just a consistent push the whole time. That's the cadence-based. And then torque will vary according to how hard you're pushing on the bike. So maybe try both out, or maybe not. We offer the cadence-based. And it's just a fantastic way to go either way.


I truly hope that was helpful for you. If you liked it, please do like it and hit subscribe. It helps grow our channel. And if you need any help at all, please contact us. You can call us at (310) 982-2877 or email us at theteam@sixthreezero.com. Remember, Sixthreezero is spelled out S-I-X-T-H-R-E-E-Z-E-R-O. Theteam@sixthreezero.com. Thanks.

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